Larus Fuscus ~ fuscus, intermedius or graellsii ~ 1st. W ~ Dungeness, Kent - 06.10.13

Thursday 10 October 2013

 One thing is for sure this stand out bird is
Lesser Black-Backed Gull.

To define this bird to a taxon either fuscus, intermedius or graellsii in a 1st. cy bird, given the variation is difficult.
Unless the bird bears a ring, from a specific colony to classify it, which this one doesn't ...
Without a ring its just a sp. Fuscus ..

But we can still have an educated guess at trying to get it down to ssp. level.

So DW picks the bird out, small with pale underparts and contrasting darker upperparts. The size and paleness were quite striking.

Pale head, breast & belly 
Mantle & Scapulars being replaced with 2nd. gen
Odd coverts being replaced with 2nd. gen
Short legged
Pale white fringe to tertials
Pale  fringes to coverts worn

The pale frosty look made it stand out ..

This image shows the dark upperwing well

This image shows the band & uppertail pattern

Pale underwing
Pale unmarked belly
Under tail coverts marking to edge 

Underparts pale & frosty
Small round head
 Axillaries with dark bars

Here the small size shows well

Upper Scapulars, a couple Lower & the odd covert replaced for 2nd. gen seen better here

A small frosty looking bird

With many of the features being good for 
Larus fuscus fuscus

But primary projection beyond the tail appears short, but even that is within variation ...

So that just gives us one safe option its a
 Lesser Black-Backed Gull


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